This entry is especially for those who subscribed to our mailing list. Thank you for joining us, here’s a little something to get you started.
There are about 6000 clients and participants from our fitness programmes – from those who take up personal training, working out outdoors with our Get Fit! Fitness Bootcamp workouts, companies doing weight management programmes such as the Lose To Win (From HPB), Flab2Fab, Flab2Fit, etc – they all *know* how to lose weight.
I’m sure you know too right? Yeap you’re right – have a negative caloric intake (Eat less, exercise more). Many of us know this but not many have the ability to apply that simple equation (but can be difficult at times) in their pursuit to lose weight. This is where my team and I usually remind them that losing weight goes beyond exercising and eating within limits.
Also, have you ever stopped to seriously ponder why so many people know how to lose weight but can’t seem to keep it off long term? You have likely gone through various diets and workout routines yourself only to fall back into old habits. It is often not an issue of having poor will power or being weak, but a simple determination of whether you are mentally ready for the change that weight loss brings to your life.
If you have never given your mental preparedness any consideration, then you are not alone. Most people who want to shed some excess weight think solely in terms of goal weights, measurements, dieting practices, and exercise routines.
All of those things are essential to losing weight, but if you want to keep it off long term then you really must make it a mental process as well.
The first question to ask yourself is whether you are doing this just to look better for a specific date coming up, or if there are deeper motivations. This is important because your primary goals for the weight loss can determine how long you mentally keep up the healthier habits.
For example, consider someone planning a beach vacation in a couple months. They may be really motivated by the knowledge they will have to shed the blue jeans and put on a bathing suit in public, but once that vacation is over they are likely to fall right back into old habits and find themselves once again pinching their saddlebags with disappointment.
If on the other hand you can motivate yourself to get healthy for deeper reasons you will be more mentally prepared to take the weight off and actually keep it off. If you just can’t get motivated by the health risks of being overweight, consider other things. Maybe you want to live a long, healthy life as a role model to your children or you are sick and tired of being the “fat mom” on the block.
Everyone has their own personal motivation and once you tap into yours it will be easier to follow a healthier lifestyle for good.
Some basic but interesting intrinsic motivation theories are such from Bandura (1997), who defines self-efficacy as one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations. Deci and Ryan’s cognitive evaluation theory (1991) (aka self-determination theory – focuses on the degree to which an individual’s behavior is self-motivated and self-determined) is worth reading up too.
Another aspect of getting mentally prepared is to put what you are doing in a positive light. If you go into a diet thinking it is going to be total deprivation and you are never going to taste your favorite foods again you are not likely to stick with it long term. Dieting does not mean ‘Do No include Eating This’. The right way to diet is to eat right and choose healthier alternatives – brown rice instead of white ones, wholemeal bread instead of white bread, fruits as desserts instead of ice-cream. Talking about ice-cream – yes it is okay to eat them, but in moderation please. Do not deprive your body from nice food – but do not also take too much of it that can make it unhealthy for you.
Sticking with a healthier lifestyle long term requires moderation, not deprivation. If you want to succeed, give yourself occasional treats that you enjoy but keep them in the “occasional” category. Don’t think of it as going on a diet or torturing yourself in the gym. Just think of it as a healthier lifestyle that you want to adopt.
It is much easier to lose weight if you have a positive attitude and some serious mental motivation beyond a day at the beach or a wedding. Design a program that you can live with for the rest of your life and that doesn’t feel like torture. Then seriously ask yourself: am I really ready to do this once and for all?
For excellent motivation that we all need, come join us at http://www.FitnessBootcamp.sg and see your extra weight disappear.
Let me know what you think – feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in health,
TFG Master Trainer
Bandura, A (1997), Self-efficacy: The exercise of control, New York: Freeman, p. 604, ISBN 9780716726265
Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (1991). A motivational approach to self: Integration in personalit’. In R. Dienstbier (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation: Vol. 38. Perspectives on motivation (pp. 237–288). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.